Master Volume on a Blues Junior question

89strat

Member
Messages
1,201
I looked through the forums and see that blues juniors are setting their master volumes all the way up and using the volume control as regular volume to get a big clean tone. I've been doing that lately and it sounds pretty good, very close to that punchy fender clean tone I like. I use pedals for my overdriven tones. My question that I couldn't really find an answer to is, does running the master volume always on full, even though my regular volume is usually between 2 and 4, hurt the amp or cut the life on the tubes at all?
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
32,621
With any amp you will not know what it can do until you try it.
Master full is the only way to access the full power range of the amp.
You may produce full power at other settings, depending on the drive levels, and you do not have to run at 10 if you prefer another setting, but you must try them all to know.
 

GenoVox

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,390
I've owned several Blues Juniors.... the "master on full" approach is absolutely the way to go for getting the most out of those amps

Never caused any problems for me either

PS: I've also found that leaving the "Fat" switch on all the time opens up the tone alot – with it off, it's like you're only getting 1/2 the amp's tonal capability
 

deepcove17

Member
Messages
943
I've owned several Blues Juniors.... the "master on full" approach is absolutely the way to go for getting the most out of those amps

Never caused any problems for me either

PS: I've also found that leaving the "Fat" switch on all the time opens up the tone alot – with it off, it's like you're only getting 1/2 the amp's tonal capability
Totally agree with Fat Switch always on factor......
 

GenoVox

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,390
I read somewhere that the way the circuit is designed, the Fat switch ON is actually the amp’s full signal, and that turning it off actually is more like a mid-cut and gain-cut

My go-to setting for a BJ (with, for example, a Strat or Tele) was usually: master on full, fat switch on, bass & treble around 2 o’clock, mids around 10 o’clock... reverb and volume to taste. Nice, dynamic clean base for pedals without too much of that notorious BJ “boxiness”
 
Last edited:

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
32,621
I read somewhere that the way the circuit is designed, the Fat switch ON is actually the amp’s full signal, and that turning it off actually is more like a mid-cut and gain-cut
https://www.thetubestore.com/lib/thetubestore/schematics/Fender/Fender-Blues-Junior-Schematic.pdf
Here it is.
The switch brings in a 22uf cap to the cathode of the second gain stage increasing gain and offering a boost to bass and lower mids. That is how it sounds, in use. No cut is involved. Use it to your best advantage but don't expect more than it is.
 

GenoVox

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,390
Whatever the actual electronics involved... I just think the amp sounds better with it on all the time

YMMV
 

HeavyCream

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,495
With Master full up and the pre volume set between 2-4, it’s no different than cranking the preamp volume and setting the MV low to reach the same actual volume level, as far as the tubes are concerned. Either way, the signal strength hitting the power tubes will be relatively the same. You could even argue that running the MV full up and reducing pre volume will extend the preamp tubes life.
 




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